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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Nov;118(5):1060-7. Epub 2006 Sep 8.

Initial Fc epsilon RI-mediated signal strength plays a key role in regulating basophil signaling and deactivation.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany. <>



Mediator releases after high-affinity IgE receptor (Fc(epsilon)RI) cross-linking in basophils and mast cells crucially govern the symptoms of allergic disease and amplify underlying T(H)2-type responses. Interestingly, the dose-response curve for Fc(epsilon)RI activation is bell-shaped, with supraoptimal stimulation leading to reduced mediator release.


We sought to characterize the mechanisms responsible for this control of Fc(epsilon)RI-triggered basophil activation.


Human basophils were purified by means of Ficoll density centrifugation, elutriation, and negative selection with immunomagnetic beads. Various intracellular signal protein activities were assessed by means of Western blotting, and mediator releases were analyzed either spectrofluorometrically (histamine) or by means of ELISA (IL-4 and IL-13).


Supraoptimal anti-IgE concentrations led to lower mediator release than optimal concentrations but simultaneously to considerably faster histamine release kinetics. In parallel, basophil signaling proteins (Syk, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2) were more rapidly phosphorylated at higher anti-IgE concentrations but more transiently activated in the supraoptimal range. This endogenous regulation most likely involved src homology 2 domain-containing inositol 5' phosphatase (SHIP), which was highly phosphorylated after supraoptimal anti-IgE triggering compared with lower stimulus concentrations. Conversely, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine-stimulated basophils failed to phosphorylate SHIP in the supraoptimal concentration range and did not display a bell-shaped dose-response curve.


The kinetics of IgE-mediated signaling and mediator release in primary human Fc(epsilon)RI(+) cells varies substantially according to the magnitude of stimulation, and SHIP most likely plays an important role in terminating these events.


The speed of allergic symptom generation depends on the degree of IgE receptor triggering, which is downregulated by SHIP, a potential target for allergy therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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